The Intermarché Brand
Intermarché supermarkets were founded in France in 1969. The brand has grown considerably since then and today operates around 1,800 stores in France plus a further 2,300 in other parts of Europe.
Its shops range from massive, out-of-town hypermarkets to small, rural convenience stores. Intermarché was introduced into Belgium in 1991 and has expanded to almost 80 stores across the country.
Intermarché Tournai, located close to the French border in western Belgium, is one of the brand’s larger supermarkets in the country at 1,500m2. It has been run for over 20 years by the Ronse family who own a further six Belgian Intermarché supermarkets.
The store offers customers a wide selection of groceries including fresh produce, household items and cosmetics as well as fresh meat from its sizeable butchers. The supermarket is located behind Tournai’s train station which generates a lot of footfall from commuters.
In 2016, the Ronse family decided to renovate the Intermarché Tournai supermarket and modernise the layout of the store to improve the customer experience.
Cash continues to be popular method of payment and since banks are forcing retailers to take over the bulk of cash handling processes, this is an area the Ronse family could not afford to overlook as part of its renovation plans.
Mr Ronse consulted Gunnebo to find out about the potential business benefits of installing an automated cash management system and whether it would be an option which would deliver a long-term return on investment.
The store owners were also concerned about the amount of time staff were spending on manually counting cash, which was made worse by counting errors and the stress of being responsible for reconciliation.
Finally, it was equally important for the Ronse family to make the supermarket a safer place to work and shop by finding a more secure way to store and process cash takings.
Intermarché Tournai installed four SafePay NR2 and CR2 note and coin recyclers at the tills supported by one SafePay CDS cash deposit safe in the back office.
The NR2 and CR2 units combine to create a dual note and coin payment solution for the supermarket’s checkouts which recycles cash throughout the day. These front-office units are configured so that customers can enter their notes and coins themselves – in keeping with the trend within retail for self-payment checkouts.
Since SafePay is a closed cash management system, once cash has been paid by the customer, it is never exposed but remains locked away in protective cassettes. Customers paying by cash, deposit their coins and notes into the payment units which then return the correct change. The cash received is automatically authenticated and counted.
This means there is no manual cash handling, no opportunity for cash differences and a safer store for both customers and staff.
At the end of the day, surplus notes paid into SafePay at the checkout are taken by staff in sealed, ink-protected cassettes to the back office where they are emptied into the SafePay CDS deposit unit. Here banknotes are deposited into a Grade III safe and land in a special bag which is thermally sealed prior to collection.
The whole process is fully monitored by CashControl cash management software, which helps optimise reconciliation and reporting, and gives store managers a real-time overview of cash levels.
As part of the installation project, Gunnebo also ran an on-site training session with staff. This ensured that the transition to an automated system went as smoothly as possible and that there was minimal disruption for customers.
- Cash stored more securely
- Safer working environment for staff
- No more manual counting errors
- Less stress for staff
- Faster crediting of takings by bank
- Automated cash processes saving time and effort
- Ability to monitor transactions and cash levels
“The way we were handling cash before was time-consuming and not really secure. Now we have more time to spend on more important things.”
Owner of Intermarché Tournai